V episode 8 review

The early promise of V seems long, long gone with its latest episode, We Can't Win...

V: We Can't Win

8. We Can’t Win

The title of this week’s episode of V, We Can’t Win, works on a couple of levels. On one hand, it provided one of this week’s only highlights, in the form of a human sympathizer with the Visitors who sided with our reptilian overlords because, as he says when being smacked around by Hobbes and badgered by Erica, “We can’t win.” After all, they’re aliens with super technology, space ships, and scales. How can humans beat that?

On the other hand, it also kind of sums up the feelings of all the people who, like me, are still sticking with the show. We can’t win, either.

V started off strongly, but since then the show has gone way downhill. The dialog is laughably bad (especially since the change in direction), the show changed behind-the-scenes crew completely, the season was cut in twain by the Olympics, and it’s probably fairly expensive to put together. Thus, it’s likely this will be V‘s only season unless the folks behind the show send Morena Baccarin and Laura Vandervoort to Disney CEO Robert Iger’s office with a kiddie pool full of jello to convince him to give the show a second season.

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This show is just getting bad. Like, spectacularly bad. Even when they do something right (split up the Fab Four), they end up doing something worse to make up for it (bring the Fab Four back together again almost immediately, give Lisa and Tyler most of the screen time for the episode, introduce a new plot device character who can’t die fast enough for me).

This week, Anna and her pet journalist Chad are heading to some sort of fake United Nations conference in Geneva, where Anna wishes to make a presentation. Of course, in a shocking display of realism, because she’s not invited, she’s not allowed to meet with the assembled. At least, not until she exploits a world tragedy (a tsunami crushing a small island) for her own political gain. Then she’s allowed to speak and reveal to the world the V’s latest and greatest gift, blue energy. It’s kind of like a giant pile of blue spaghetti, or a foam party in Smurf Village, except it’s electricity.

Meanwhile, a Fifth Column sect gets busted up by a V assassin and, given they’re considered terrorists, that means Erica is dispatched to deal with the crime scene. Given Pregnant Girlfriend found out she’s carrying a komodo fetus and split at the end of last episode, Ryan’s off looking for her. Father Jack, Action Priest, is hitting up the father of the lone survivor of the Visitors’ latest massacre to find out where the son is hiding. Thankfully, everyone’s split up doing their own thing. Huzzah!

Of course, it’s not five minutes later that they’re convening an emergency meeting to get together and talk. There’s also a chance for Ryan to act all melodramatic about his missing girlfriend and his spacebaby. Sigh.

Remember how I mentioned that this show seemed to be adding more Lisa and Tyler? They literally get half an hour this week of precious show time devoted to their love subplot. Tyler’s reeling from the news that his father isn’t really Krychek. (Or maybe Krychek is Tyler’s daddy, but for some reason it doesn’t look that way on blood tests. I doubt they’d make Agent Erica slutty enough to cheat on her husband, because that’d add too much roundness to her character and Elizabeth Mitchell might roll on back to Lost island before that show ends.)

His mom’s off hanging out in the warehouse district with a giant black dude, a priest, and an English terrorist, so she’s no help. So, Tyler turns to Lisa for comfort, leaps to the front of the Live Aboard program, and boldly goes where no man has gone before: into Lisa’s pants. 

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That’s right, after all that talking and plotting, all those moments with soft music and meaningful looks, and we finally get some interspecies nastification (aside from Ryan and Pregnant Girlfriend’s implied sex).

Of course, the reason why we get some movement on that front (aside from giving the director an excuse to get Laura Vandervoort into her bra on camera) is because Lisa’s spent too much time in her meatsuit and she’s starting to fall for Tyler. She even fails Joshua/Anna’s Clockwork Orange humanity test and everything!

Of course, this means Lisa has something in common with Joshua and Ryan, which, in turn, gives them a weapon against Anna, or at least another weapon against her. Of course, Anna’s got weapons of her own, and her alien caviar is about to become an omelet of destruction, as next week the teaser has promised us the appearance of the V soldiers and some anonymous room being trashed.

I imagine that’ll be about five minutes of the show, with the other 40 being dedicated to Father Jack, Action Priest, taking confessions and Tyler and Lisa making goo-goo saucer eyes at one another.

I’ve lost all hope for this show. The show’s few moments of decency are buried beneath an avalanche of salamander scat. There’s nothing they can do to save it ratings-wise, and obviously they’ve decided that they’re no longer going to try to make it entertaining, either.

The only thing I can really hope for is they’ll somehow wrap it all up in the remaining four episodes of the season, or do something spectacularly crazy to get my interest again. I mean, someone’s got to eat a bag of rodents, there needs to be an egg-baby with a lizard tail, and Robert Englund needs at least one cameo as Willie before it’s all over. If you must, recast Robert Englund with Jackie Earle Haley as Willie. I can at least accept that, and it’d be a great Nightmare On Elm Street tie-in!

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I’m sure that’s too much to ask.

Read our review of episode 7 here.

US correspondent Ron Hogan has officially stopped being nice about V and its flaws. All hope is lost; are you happy now, cordas2? Find more by Ron at his blog, Subtle Bluntness, and daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.